瓜田李下

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Mandarin[edit]

simpl. and trad.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /kua˥˥tʰiɛn˧˥li˨˩ɕia˥˩/
  • (file)

Etymology[edit]

Literally: in a melon patch or under a plum tree

Idiom[edit]

瓜田李下 (traditional and simplified, Pinyin guā tián lǐ xià)

  1. a position that invites suspicion; liable to lay oneself open to suspicion; be found in a suspicious position; in suspicious circumstances or surroundings

Usage notes[edit]

Originates from a longer phrase 瓜田不納履、李下不正冠. It can be compared to the English-language idiom, "caught with one's hand in the cookie jar."